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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
March 7, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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March 7, 1998

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Volume 87, Number 9 The Diocese of Little Rock Weekly Newspaper March 7, 1998 6 By Malea Waiters DrroR ., Bishop AndrewJ. McDonald welcomed mose converting to Catholicism and en- COUraged them as they make their final Steps toward becoming Catholic. In ceremonies at St. Boniface Church m Fort Smith Feb. 21, Blessed Sacrament Urch in Jonesboro Feb. 26, and the Ca- , edral of St. Andrew in Little Rock March l, the bishop presided Over one of the .final rites in the Rite of Christian Initia- called the Rite of Election and Call to tSondnuing Conversion. The Rite of Elec- ti0n inaugurates the final period of prepa- ration before initiation for those who have .never been baptized. The Call to Continu- COnversion is for those who have been uaptized in another Chrisuan faith. Over the past nine months, 450 elect and candidates have studied and sought ~eater understanding of the Catholic i~ " hUrch through their parish RCIA pro- te," Parish coordinators, elect, candi- Jolynn Gibson (left} and Janette Jones kneel as their sponsors, Pearl Herman and Dorothy Gillam, and Father Donald Murrin, SVD, pastor of St. Bartholomew ti _ 'atins' tes andnearSpOnsOrSor ontraveledthe firsttSundaythe threeof P ock, pray intercessions for the elect and candidates. , to present themselves to the bishop, candidate and elect walk up to greet Bishop during the service at the Cathedral. `you timeq e time during Lent is more of a McDonald, parish coordinators call out the are a witness to the fact that the Holy e of spiritual preparation for the sac- names of those converting. The bishop Spirit comes upon people independent r' aents, said " -" arO Minczewski, diocesan signs each parish's Book of Elect, which of our mistakes and errors." "~eCtor for the Office of Religious Edu- includes the names of those present. In what might have been their first en- cation and Christian Initiation. '`you are a great sign of hope," Bishop counter with the bishop, he shared a few DUring each Rite of Election, as each McDonald told the elect and candidates jokes and some suggestions on how to make their Catholic faith strong in theft lives after they are initiated at the Easter vigil Mass. "You are not joining a church of a bunch of saints," he said. "If you can un- derstand you are joining a bunch of sin- ners, who over mid over again turn to the Lord God seeking forgiveness ... As a mat- ter of fact, there's a good chance you are going to upgrade us." The bishop touched on several subjects that are often misunderstood about Ca- tholicism, such as devotion to Mary and the rosary. "We believe there is only one Savior, one Redeemer, only one who bought us back and his name is Jesus Christ," he said. ''We don't believe there is any con- flict between focusing upon Jesus as Re- deemer and loving his mother." He said the rosary is one way to re- member Mary. 'qNhile the rosary is not found in Scrip- tures, it's rooted in the Scriptures," he said. He encouraged those converting to make daily prayer and Scripture reading part of their lives. "Don't start on page one," he said. "Start rather at the 12th or 13th chapter of John's Gospel." He also encouraged them to pray the rosary and participate in the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist. He anticipated that the new Catholics See Rite page 12 a man, one Msgr. James 0 'Connell celebrates 90 years of life Ily Malea Waiters rroR se.X then. Msgr. James E. O'Connell first spoke to the ~I~a. artans of St. John Seminary in Little Rock on Sept. ~, 1944, after he was named rector, he said, "In 1933, * ie r'"tt St. John s to save the souls of others. In 1944, I O- to St. John's, perhaps to save my own soul." ola of the seminarians in the audience was 19-year- ly. George Tribou, who was ordained in 1949 and fol- w;hdin his mentor's footsteps to be rector of Catholic School in Little Rock. ill Msgr. Tribou said he still can vividly remember the sPping Words of the former rector. ~_ rae and other former students, friends and diocesan ployees gathered Feb. 24 at the former seminary now "a~Wrl as ' ' 90tla -. St. John Catholic Center for Msgr. O ConneU s Msgr. James O'Connell claps after h-lends and dioc- hi-" o~-thday and 65th anniversary to the priesthood. the oldest diocesan priest in the Diocese of Little esan employees sing "Happy Birthday" as Msgr. John O'Donnell watches. ~orking daily until December 1996 at St. John Catholic ter as director of the vocations burse fund namedin his Rock seminary closed in 1967 or head of the first Priest Senate (now Presbyteral Council). Probably the only per- ilealor, Msgr. O'ConneU has touched many lives, whether son who studied and worked at St- John Seminary and I~ ~ a teacher or rector at St. John Seminary and Catho- Center for more than 60 years, he was a resource person gh School, director of seminarians after the Little to answer many historical questions about the seminary. ] IN-! His Boston accent and march-step walk are remem- I bered by many seminarians who studied for the Diocese [ ,.*ny are Protestant and Catholic Bibles of Little Rock or a number of other dioceses. I ~ffl~r~llt? .... ~.;._.7 ........................... p. 5 "He's the John Wayne of the clergy," Msgr. Tribou I1 ik" - F~'~llli illulli iliulli~lO[ht~''D~2?ll'i2~'5] new cardinals into said. "He's one hell of a man and one heaven of a priest." I i _C.oUege of Cardinals, including lw6 Msgr. John O'Donnell, pastor ofIraraaculate Concep- flC kS .................................................. p. 9 don Church in Fort Smith, said he listened to many great See Msgr. O'Connell page 12 In the Diocese of Little Rock, there are 86,990 Catholics, ia In 1997 hundreds were baptized, received First Communion, confirmed, mari'ied, received into the Church or died.